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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Nawaz’s Foreign Assets Tracking: British Firm filed Case for Non-Payment of Bills

Pakistan is under fire over claims of non-payment of bills to asset recovery firm. The firm has moved an application after Pakistan High Commission failed to respond to multiple requests from the firm.

The Assets recovery firm in the United Kingdom has sanctioned Pakistan’s anti-corruption National Accountability Bureau (NAB) with charges of non-payment of multi-million-pound bills. Pakistan had employed the firm Broadsheet to track down the property of Pakistan’s ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in London.

The firm has initiated a claim of about £17million against the country. In its lawsuit, the firm plans to take possession of Avenfield Apartments, four luxury apartments in Park Lane in Central London, which were the homes of Sharif family.

Broadsheet entitled to 20% Share in Seized Assets

Stuart Newberger, a senior partner at Washington-based law firm Crowell and Moring, which represents Broadsheet, said the high court had recently ruled in a private hearing that Pakistan owes payment to the client of about $22 million for helping locate and repatriate the properties of Nawaz Sharif.

“Pakistan has refused to comply with this final non-appealable court decision, thus requiring Broadsheet to enforce this order by seizing Pakistan’s assets,” he said.

Last year in July, the Accountability Court had convicted Nawaz Sharif and daughter Maryam Nawaz in the Avenfield Apartment case.

Documents before the high court state Sir Anthony Evans QC ruled in December that the Pakistani government and NAB owed $21.5m. Evans also endorsed the Broadcast’s reading of the Asset Recovery Agreement as entitling it to 20% of any assets recovered, regardless of whether the assets were located in Pakistan or abroad.

The apartments were used to raise a £7m mortgage and would probably be worth more than £8m today.

Pakistan Supreme Court had disqualified him from public office in July 2017 after Panama Papers. The papers established links of Sharif’s children to the purchase of London properties through offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands in the mid-1990s. At that time, the children were minor and the purchases were assumed to have been made by Sharif.

NAB-Broadsheet Alliance

The authorities have blamed Sharif for money laundering of funds embezzled from the public funds. Last year in July, the Accountability Court had convicted Nawaz Sharif and daughter Maryam Nawaz in the Avenfield Apartment case.

General Pervez Musharraf has established NAB in 1999 to investigate corruption allegations against public officials in the wake of a military coup.

Read more: The inside pictures of extravagant Avenfield Apartments

It entered in agreement with Broadsheet in 2000 to identify the foreign properties of Nawaz Sharif and more than 200 other politicians, officials and their families. This work was done at the firm’s expense in return for 20% of any sums recovered from the designated targets.